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SunGard Availability Services Presents Five Reasons Why Leveraging A Disaster Recovery Provider is Right for Your Business

A Review of Areas Often Overlooked in Developing Disaster Recovery Strategies

WAYNE, Pa., Feb. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- In most organizations, internal IT staff are immersed in the daily workday responsibilities that are needed to run the business. This requires companies to make important decisions on which IT activities to handle internally and which ones are best addressed by using a service provider. Disaster recovery requires highly specialized personnel and generates IT infrastructure demands and costs on a business, leading many organizations to examine whether to leverage a disaster recovery provider.

"Today, IT managers bring a business focus to their jobs and understand the serious consequences of business downtime," said Laurie Elliott, solutions marketing manager, recovery services at SunGard Availability Services. "These consequences can include productivity losses, customer dissatisfaction, customer losses and potential for regulatory fines that cut into profits and revenues. Partnering with a recovery service provider can help organizations reduce business downtime and provide greatly needed automation and higher levels of protection that can help make them more competitive in their markets."

To help organizations examine whether their disaster recovery capabilities are keeping pace with the demands for higher levels of information availability, SunGard presents five key issues - often overlooked - to consider when evaluating whether to leverage a disaster recovery service provider:

Data Center Diversity. Most data centers are a collection of new and old equipment from multiple vendors. This type of infrastructure presents a challenge for organizations looking to fund and staff a secondary environment that meets the diversity required for systems recovery. Dealing with legacy applications can drive up the costs for internal recovery strategies due to the specific expertise needed. Working with a disaster recovery provider helps companies leverage a shared pool of current and legacy equipment. The provider can also bring an expert recovery services team, skilled in working in complex IT environments.

Recovery Systems Readiness. Weighing internal recovery options can involve difficult choices. Businesses can rarely afford to have recovery systems that stand idle waiting to respond to a disaster. Actually, for recovery purposes, it may be best to have systems in operation with non-critical applications to help ensure they are ready to go when needed. But this approach lengthens recovery times as applications and data are moved from these systems to make room for applications and data that need to be recovered after a disaster. A disaster recovery service provider can have hundreds of servers available at a single site for business recovery - shrinking recovery times at a fraction of the cost of maintaining this equipment internally.

Lack of Recovery Experience Among Staff. Most corporate IT teams have much more experience in local backups and file restores than they do in recovering systems. At a typical company, many IT staff have never had to participate in a full recovery at a remote site. Even those who have had to implement a full recovery plan probably do it only once, perhaps two times, per year. Lack of ongoing experience can cost a business as it needs to wait longer for systems to be recovered. A service provider can strengthen IT resources by expanding organizational expertise with people skilled in recovery methodologies and best practices.

Dealing with Murphy's Law. No one can predict the issues an organization will encounter as it attempts to recover operations at a secondary site. Problems can include hardware systems failures, process errors and "false" errors that create obstacles to a speedy recovery. Working with a service provider whose primary business is disaster recovery gives access to knowledge acquired from thousands of recovery tests and events. These personnel skills are complemented by an IT infrastructure that allows for the right resources to be available quickly to support customer recovery.

Build the Plan, Test the Plan. Many businesses are short on IT staff and time resources. This often creates a "do more with less" philosophy that leads organizations to focus on the activities most critical to business and defer items not directly involved in the daily processes that drive revenue. In this environment, disaster recovery testing can be deferred, putting a company's recovery plan at risk. Testing is a required component of disaster preparedness. A disaster recovery service provider can be a resource to manage recovery testing; allowing organizations to know recovery plans will work before disaster strikes.

About SunGard Availability Services

SunGard Availability Services provides disaster recovery services, managed IT services, information availability consulting services and business continuity management software to more than 10,000 customers in North America and Europe. With five million square feet of datacenter and operations space, SunGard assists IT organizations across virtually all industry and government sectors to prepare for and recover from emergencies by helping them minimize their computer downtime and optimize their uptime. Through direct sales and channel partners, we help organizations ensure their people and customers have uninterrupted access to the information systems they need in order to do business. To learn more, visit www.availability.sungard.com or call 1-800-468-7483.

About SunGard

SunGard is one of the world's leading software and IT services companies. SunGard serves more than 25,000 customers in more than 70 countries.

SunGard provides software and processing solutions for financial services, higher education and the public sector. SunGard also provides disaster recovery services, managed IT services, information availability consulting services and business continuity management software.

With annual revenue exceeding $5 billion, SunGard is ranked 435 on the Fortune 500 and is the largest privately held business software and services company on the Forbes list of private businesses. Based on information compiled by Datamonitor*, SunGard is the third largest provider of business applications software after Oracle and SAP. Continuity, Insurance & Risk has recognized SunGard as service provider of the year an unprecedented six times. For more information, please visit SunGard at www.sungard.com .

* January 2009 Technology Vendors Financial Database Tracker http://www.datamonitor.com

Trademark Information: SunGard and the SunGard logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of SunGard Data Systems Inc. or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and other countries. All other trade names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

SOURCE SunGard Availability Services

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